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Pontiac seems to think that its ho-hum CUV, the Torrent, was in need of a high performance makeover. So it saw fit to nix the roof rack, redesign the front and rear fascias, transform the hood and drop the whole thing over a set of 18-inch rollers, via a performance-tuned suspension.

With that kind exterior, something had to be done in the motivation department, so Pontiac outfitted the Torrent GXP with GM's 3.6-liter V6, producing 263 HP and sending power to either the front- or all-four-wheels via a Hyrda-Matic six-speed automatic tranny, with sport shift.

On the inside, front-seat passengers get highly bolstered thrones, while the driver gets to ogle red-backlit GXP-grade instrumentation, through a three-spoke, leather wrapped wheel.

All the prerequisite enthusiast equipment is present and accounted for, so for those of you looking for a quicker way to get to the nearest grocery store, your whip has arrived.

Follow the jump for the full press release.



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PRESS RELEASE

Torrent GXP

Using the popular Torrent SUV as the foundation, the Torrent GXP starts with a sleek, unique exterior design that includes a sculpted hood, a revised front fascia with cooling inlets and detailed, deep-set grille inserts. The Torrent GXP's lower front and rear fascias, as well as the rocker moldings, are body-colored. The sleek look is enhanced with the elimination of the roof rack (which remains an option), lowering the look of the vehicle beyond its reduced ride height. Eighteen-inch flangeless, high-polished forged aluminum five-spoke wheels complete the Torrent GXP's aggressive stance. Chrome details, such as the door handles and dual exhaust tips, reflect the vehicle's attention to detail.

Inside, the Torrent GXP also is performance-oriented. New seats with bolsters that enhance lateral support during quick cornering maneuvers are standard, with leather-covered versions available. It also has a leather-wrapped, three-spoke steering wheel and GXP-specific instruments, including a 140-mph speedometer – all with Pontiac 's signature red backlighting. Additional interior cues include an upscale, "piano black" appearance on the instrument panel and a parallel shifter gate for the GXP-specific tap-up/tap-down feature of the six-speed automatic transmission.

The six-speed transmission – GM Hydra-Matic's new 6T70 – provides an excellent balance between performance and fuel economy. It is paired with GM's 3.6L V-6, a high-feature, DOHC engine with variable valve timing that delivers 263 horsepower (196 kW). This powertrain combination delivers performance that leaves many SUVs in the dust and rivals many sports cars, with an estimated 0-60 mph time of 6.9 seconds. The Torrent GXP also features a specially tuned exhaust note that driving enthusiasts will appreciate. The powertrain combination is available with a standard front-wheel-drive configuration or an available all-wheel-drive (AWD) configuration.

The Torrent GXP's underhood prowess is channeled to the pavement via a performance-tuned suspension. Torrent's segment-leading 112.5-inch (2,857 mm) wheelbase and wide 61.8-inch (1,569 mm) track give the GXP a stable, confident road feel. The front suspension has a MacPherson strut design and the rear features a four-link independent layout. Stiffer shock valving, spring rates and suspension bushings; stronger stabilizer bars and hydraulic power steering contribute to a more responsive, sporting driving experience. Specific 235/50R18 all-season radial sport tires complement the Torrent GXP's ride and handling characteristics.

Additionally, GM's innovative StabiliTrak electronic stability control system, tire pressure monitoring system, and front and rear disc brakes with four-channel ABS, including panic brake assist and trailering stability, are standard on the Torrent GXP. On AWD models, the AWD system engages automatically when wheel slip is detected.

Additional vehicle highlights include an impressive list of standard features: dual-stage front driver and front passenger air bags with GM's Passenger Sensing System; head curtain side-impact air bags with rollover protection; five-passenger seating – including a sliding rear seat that offers the greatest rear-seat legroom in the class – flat-folding front passenger seat for longer cargo items; power door locks with remote keyless entry; power windows; air conditioning; tilt steering and rear liftgate with defogger and washer/wiper. Also included is an auxiliary audio input jack and an electronic driver information center. Available features include OnStar, as well as entertainment features such as a six-disc in-dash CD changer, a navigation system and a DVD player.